Police Arrest Ahmed Salkida Declared Wanted By Military

Ahmed-SalkidaOne of the individuals placed on wanted list by the Nigerian Army for alleged link with Boko Haram terrorist group, Ahmed Salkida, has been arrested in Abuja, security source said on Monday.

The journalist, who released a Boko Haram video showing abducted Chibok girls from Nigeria’s northeast, was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital city.

A source at the Airport told Channels Television that Nigeria secret police officials, who arrested him were aware of his arrival from Dubai through the passengers’ manifest usually sent by airlines to their destinations.

The source said he was arrested at about 4:30p.m. local time by operatives at the tarmac of the airport and had been taken into custody by the security agency.

After the video of the abducted girls was made public, the Nigerian army declared Salkida and two others wanted in connection with the video.

Spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said that the suspects, Salkida, (Ambassador) Ahmed Bolori and Aisha Wakil had information on the conditions and the exact location of these girls.

The girls were abducted on April 14, 2014 from their school’s dormitory in Chibok, while they were preparing for their Secondary School Certificate examinations.

Their abduction triggered wide protests across nations, with a slogan, “Bring Back Our Girls”.

Giving reasons for declaring them wanted, Colonel Usman said that two recent incidents had pointed to the fact that the suspects were connected to the terrorist group.

In his reaction to the declaration by the army, Mr Salkida, who was not in Nigeria at that time, said that he was prepared to return to Nigeria and had indeed kick started the process to honour the invitation.

Carrying Out Professional Duties

In a statement issued days after he was declared wanted, Mr Salkida said that the army knew he was not in Nigeria prior to being declared wanted.

He pointed out that his return home would be quickened if the government could fund his trip.

Salkida added that the army was declaring him wanted for simply carrying out his professional duties as a journalist, stressing that he does most of his work with ‘total allegiance and sacrifice to the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.

“Clearly, my status as a Nigerian journalist, who has reported extensively, painstakingly and consistently on the Boko Haram menace in the country since 2006 is an open book known to Nigerians and the international community,” he said.

The other persons that were declared wanted had turned themselves in for questioning.

 

Activist Confirms Obasanjo’s Meeting With Families Of Suspected Boko Haram Members

Civil Rights activist, Mandela ObasanjoShehu Sani, on Wednesday said that he led a delegation of some families of suspected Boko Haram members to a meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo to find ways of securing the release of the abducted schoolgirls.

Sani, who  was speaking in response to the reports on the Abeokuta meeting with the former president and some family members of the Boko Haram group, confirmed that the meeting “actually took place and I was part of it”.

Sani said, in a statement made available to journalists, that the meeting which took place at the Abeokuta residence of the former President was aimed at opening a new channel of dialogue with leaders of the sect and secure the release of the missing girls.

He expressed the hope that the meeting will lead to a genuine dialogue between the abductors and the federal government on how to secure the girls’ release.

He said, “My statement is in response to the reports and the enquiries on the Abeokuta meeting with the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and some family members of the Boko Haram group. The renewed effort to dialogue with the leaders of Boko Haram is being pursued with vigour.

“This is to confirm that the meeting actually took place and I was part of it. The meeting was solely aimed at exploring the possibility of opening a new channel for dialogue or negotiation with the sect members towards securing the release of the abducted Chibok girls held in captivity for over a month.”

He noted that the meeting between the former President and families of Boko Haram members appraised the reportedly collapsed back door deal that was later cancelled by the Government.

“I wish to also confirm that the report of the intervention of Mr. Salkida in negotiating the release of the Chibok girls is credible.

“I personally introduced Salkida to the government and spoke about him in many of my previous interviews. He has tried his best in the past and of recent to help in resolving the insurgency through dialogue but was on all occasions frustrated by the government.

“Mr. Salkida should not be vilified but should be appreciated. Mr. Salkida’s attempt could have actually see to the release of the abducted girls. The meeting in Abeokuta was aimed at repackaging and salvaging the dialogue option. It was generally agreed that the initiative cannot take off without the consent of the Federal Government. It’s significant for Nigerians to note that negotiation is the only safer option to get the girls back home,” Sani stated.